Hagerstown Students React To The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Holocaust Museum Survivor/Victim ID

The following paragraphs are the reactions of students who visited the United States Holocaust Museum on December 11, 1996. Their visit was preceded by a one-week interdisciplinary unit on the Holocaust entitled "The Beast Within." We hope you will take the time to read some or all of these submissions, and if you are so moved, please respond to them via e-mail to georgecassutto@hotmail.com. The names of the students have been highlighted as mail-to links for your convenience. Please let them know what you think of their comments and of the Holocaust. If responding to a specific student, please include the name of the student-author in the subject line or in the body of your message. Thank you.

The Holocaust is a very important part of history. Tragic though it was, there are many lessons to be learned from it. The world must know what happened - the horrible truths must be known. It is so essential that society learns about the Holocaust. Ignorance is worthless; we must educate ourselves to prevent such a devastating event from ever happening again. As we bring a close to the twentieth century, we must remember that phrase heard so often where the Holocaust is concerned - "Never Again." N ever again can we allow one person's power to endanger an entire nation's life. Never again can we permit the torture and murder that took place. To remember the lessons of the fragility and yet strength of life, the reality of cruel death and hatred; memory of these valuable lessons is quintessential. It is these memories that must be sustained through time so that they may remind us of what can happen when hate gets out of hand. For even today, there are those that refuse to understand these lessons, and they continue to hate. The message must be spread to the world - "Always remember, so that it will happen never again" - because it is only when all humans are loving and tolerant that our future is ensured.

Emily B.

The world must know about the Holocaust because it was the greatest genocide to ever occur. I think people should know because millions of people lost there lives just because of what they believed or what they looked like, and they were taken away from their loved ones. And if we don't get the details about the Holocaust the exact same thing will happen again very soon. It is important that we carry this information in to the 20th century, because alot of the killings in the United States because of racial issues. And more things of that nature will occur. Some events that are taking place around the word is in Bosnia were Muslims are being killed off. And that is what I learned in this unit called the Holocaust. That is some of the things that people of all ages should learn and know about the Holocaust.

Kerry W.

The world needs to know that the Holocaust really happened and we can never let it happen again. We need to learn how to stop such a strong authoritarian government. The most important thing is to learn about what happened now because now we can prevent anything like it happening again. Also so we can learn about ourselves. Today Serbia is having troubles that could turn out something like the Holocaust.

Bethany S.

The Holocaust is an important issue, and people need to know that it did happen, because some people deny it. It's important to learn about the Holocaust now because many of the survivors are getting older and other people need to know about it. So they can pass it along from generation to generation. There is still prejudice in the world today and if people aren't careful, it will happen again!

Nicole B.

The world needs to know that the Holocaust was a horrible experience. It should never happen again. The Holocaust took place in the 1930s and 1940's, and too many innocent people were slaughtered. Nothing like the Holocaust should ever happen again.

Katherine M.

The world should know that the Holocaust is the worst thing that ever happened. It should never happen again. It is important to learn about it, because it might help people to be less prejudice. It can be applied in everyday life. There is prejudice everywhere.

Vincent M.

My views on the Holocaust is that it was a terible and gruesome event in history. I think this because of the massacres of innocent people just because Hitler and his Nazis had a great deal of prejudice. We the people need to make sure this terrible event never happens again.


I feel that the world should know about the Holocaust because it was terrible. Adolf Hitler and his evil Nazi henchmen who destroyed the lives of over twelve million people from all over Europe.The survivors are telling their stories now before it's to late. I also believe that if it wasn't for the U.S., the Nazis would have taken over.

Daniel M.

I think that the people in the world today need to know that the Holocaust was a very horrible thing to happen to any human being of any color, race of any kind. We need to make sure that something like this never happens again. It is very important for all of us to let people know about the Holocaust, because there are people out there that believe that the Holocaust never happened. All we have to prove them wrong is the museums, and most of all, the survivors. Unfortunately, survivors are slowly dying as we near the 21st century. Something like this may occur in the future.

Ben F Jr.

I feel that the world must know the Holocaust was possibly the most terrifying event in history for millions of people. Millions of innocent people lost their lives for no reason at all. People must learn about the Holocaust so something like this never happens again. Right now, there are alot of problems in the east, with Bosnia and China. China is quickly becoming very powerful and more dangerous than ever. This could possibly lead to another war or possibly World War III.

Maury O.

I think the world should know about the Holocaust because it could repeat itself again. People should know what the "signs" are so if it would start out somewhere else than we could put a stop to it as soon as possible.

It's so important for American students to learn about it as well as the rest of the world because it was a major event that happened in the world and if you don't learn about it then it's like you're denying that it ever happened.

The Bosnia incident that recently occurred is the big start to what may be the beginning of the" second" Holocaust. It might not be the Jews but the Muslims. If it doesn't end soon then history may repeat itself.

Jessica C.

The world must know how tough it was for the people to live back then and be lucky we don't live like that. And we don't have to worship someone like Hitler. The 21st century is approaching us and we don't need to forget or let something like that happen again because we have a lot of discrimination in the U.S. Discrimination is one of the lessons of the Holocaust and if we stop it early, we will not have the situation like we did with Hitler. We can stop the Holocaust from happening again.

Richard S.

The world must know about the Holocaust and what happened to people that were killed during Holocaust. The American society might repeat the past and have another Holocaust if we keep discriminating people. To make us more aware, it was good to make a museum about the Holocaust and how it affects us, as one. If we keep discriminating people the world will tremble apart and there will be no peace in the world.

Pam B.

We should learn as much as we can learn so we don't discriminate against people who didn't do anything wrong to us or our country, government, or the public. The Holocaust was very disappointing to the people of the European countries. We as one should try to get along as much as we can. I think that it was crude and rude what the Aryan race did to the Jewish people and other religious groups. We as one, should not scapegoat other people for the depressions in foreign countries and in this one.

Donald M.

I think the whole world needs to know about the Holocaust, so it won't happen again. We should let people know that slavery wasn't the only bad thing that happened. People also need to know so they won't carry hatred against Jewish people. The lesson to be learned is not to be prejudice to any other race. It was unfortunate that it happened so let's not let it happen again.

Turquoise W.

The people of the world must know that the Holocaust did happen . So many people were tortured and killed just because one person thought thry weren't "perfect". The ironic thing is that Adolph Hitler didn't even fit his description of his perfect Aryan race: tall, blue eyes, blond hair. It's definitely not fair for people to be punished just because they don't have the right hair color, beliefs, or religion. Even though it happened a long time ago in 1933-1945, people still need to be informed about the Holocaust because it 's still happening now. It might not be as bad, but it still exists. One example is prejudice. One of the most known is whites and blacks. Some people, both white and black, think they are superior over the other. The are still being categorized as "different people." So kids of today should know that the Holocaust was a horrible period and try to make the world a better place, so it doesn't happen again.

Trish H.

I think the world must know that the Holocaust was the largest genocide, (destruction of a race that has been recorded in history). People need to learn that this should never happen again, and we need to know how we can make sure this never happens again . It is important to learn about the Holocaust in America and all other countries. As we come close to the end of the 20th century, the world is at a time where new things are happening, and things are changing. Nobody would see history repeating itself, and would not be prepared. In the world there are signs of prejudice everywhere. Prejudice is a sign of the Holocaust, and I don't want another Hitler. By educating we can prevent another Holocaust from happening.

Emily P.

During the 1933-1945 period 6 million Jews were killed by the Nazis. They wanted to eliminate all non-Aryan, anti-nazi, and disabled people. We can learn from the Holocaust that if we continue fighting we will never progress. Take the example of the Middle East. There is always heavy fighting between the Palestinians and the Israelis. They need to know that if they continue fighting, all their life will pass in fighting. We can also learn that we can live together with all races of the world. We should make sure that we should fight against any race just because we feel that it is not good.

Ankur M.

The world must know that the Holocaust did happen, even though it should not have. We must learn all we can now because all of the survivors aging. If they die without telling the facts of the tragedy it will be lost.

Lane D.

I think that teenagers today should know what happened in the holocaust so it will never happen again. There is still so much ignorance in the world today. People still have to learn that it does not matter what religion, race, or your physical appearance. We are all human and everyone deserves to be treated equally, know matter who you are. I learned a lot of things about the Holocaust, and I hope everyone understands why it can never happen again!!!


I saw a lot of things at the Holocaust museum that made my stomach turn just looking at it. when I walked through the hallway with all of the shoes the smell was horrible. I saw the ovens that the people were burned in, it made me sad to think about all of the men and women and children that were gassed and cremated. the Holocaust museum was an experience that i will never forget.

Christopher P.

I think the world must know about the Holocaust, so that people like Hitler never get the kind of power that he had again.We must stop the racism within our Nation. It is important to learn about the Holocaust because, if you don't learn about the past and all of the harm and devastation it caused it has a good chance of repeating itself. All of the pain and emotional harm that Hitler caused was wrong. It was cruel and inhuman torture that Hitler caused all of those people. In Serbia the Holocaust is happening again to the Muslims.

John T.

I think the world must know that the Holocaust was the actions of a crazy man. It is important because the survivors are not going to be around forever. One problem that still exists is the in Germany, skinheads have attacked tourists and foreigners.

Chester S.

The world should know that the Holocaust did happen and it was a horrible time period. It is important that people know about the Holocaust as the twentieth century comes to close, so that we can never have to face that problem again. During 1865-1965 the blacks were being treated like second class citizens. More likely, they were treated totally unfair. During the 1960s, blacks were not aloud to go to certain stores and were not aloud to sit in the front of the bus, they always had to go in the back of the bus. This time period was known as the Civil Rights Movement.

In the world today there is much more prejudice and the lessons of the Holocaust should be applied: that everyone is equal, no matter what their religion, color or ethnic group. In Sarajevo, Bosnia people were being treated unfairly. ZLATA'S DIARY will give you more information on that incident.

Meghan A.

The world should know how many people were put to death during the Holocaust in the concentration and murder camps. They should know that not only were Jews were killed but homosexuals, socialist, and communists. Thousands of children were killed. The world needs to know about the heroics of the thousands around Europe and around the world who risked there lives to save thousands who were going to be put to death.

Seth S.

What I think the world must know about the Holocaust is that it really did happen, though many people try to deny it and say that it never really did happen, or they just don't want to believe that it happened. I want people to understand what happened to Jews and and the millions of others who died because of what the Nazi's believed. They believed that the Jews were the cause of most of the worlds problems and they should be killed to end the problems. When I went to the Holocaust Museum I learned many new facts about how Hitler worked the Jews and exterminated them. I think people should learn more about what happened during the Holocaust so they can help make sure that nothing like that will ever happen in the world again.

Travis C.

I think that the world should know the pain that the people went through during this Holocaust of hell! This is the most outrageous thing that has ever happened to the race of human kind. The Holocaust is something that we as the citizens of the world should learn more about all the time. So many lives taken for no reason. If one large group of people can do this imagine if the world is against each other. This is very hard for me to write about because of the pain suffering the people is going through. We as the world should never ever let this happen again.

Thomas V.

Some of the things I believe the world must know about the Holocaust are how it happened, why it happened, and how to prevent the holocaust from happening again. One way to insure that history will not repeat it- self is by staying up on current events, taking the time to sudy and read up on the facts about the Holocaust, and just by acknowledging that it happened. And we as the famous Americans should teach our children that this action was wrong.

It is very important in American Society especially as we bring the 20th century to a close to know and understand what happeed to Jews and many other discriminated people all over the world as a result of Hitler's rule in Germany. This is important because if we could kind of get a grip on the situation maybe we just might be able to view the 21st century as a "Turning Point" in the way of American thinking. and maybe for once our society will have a little more peace. There are things happening all over the world as a result of certain leaders "Machiavellian" type thinking. For example, in Rwanda (in southern Africa) food is being withheld and towns are being destroyed as a result of hate. Even in our own backyards, there is hate and discrimination. Certain minority groups such as blacks, Puerto Ricans, Asians, and many others are being treated unfairly because of certain peoples petty, selfish reasons. Another example is in Serbia where there is all kids of confusion because the Democratic party is trying to overthrow the present president, and many people believe violence may result from the protests.

In all these situations, murderous effects can be brought about. Anyone of these places mentioned in the above as well as many more could gradually tur into an Holocaust type situation, and it's up to us, the youth to SPEAK OUT!


The world must know that the Holocaust was real and not made up. Why would so many people of certain cultures lay claim to the fact that many people were killed under the leadership of one individual? How did they get the marks, scars, and numbers (on their arms) if it was made up, why would they put themselves through that pain and suffering for no reason? While I am not placing all the blame blame on Hitler, he allowed it and he rekindled that flame of hatred for Jews. It is important to know and learn about the Holocaust to prevent something like that happen again. It is also important because many of the survivors are aging and who knows how long they will be around to tell their stories. An example of what's taking place today is the KKK. If they would ever be allowed to take rule over a country they would probably repeat Hitler's mistake, but they wouldn't kill as many people as Hitler did. Hopefully, others would take action before that would occur.


The world should know all about the Holocaust. The Holocaust is very important to our world today. The Holocaust could happen in places were people are prejudice and don't understand each other. It is good to learn about things that happen millions and millions of years ago or just recently. The events in the Holocaust were the result of ignorance.


The Holocaust is one of the most important places that I have ever been to in Washington , D.C. One of the coolest things aboyt the museum is that they have all these things that are originally from the Holocaust. Some of my favorite things in the museum were that they had one of the original boxcars that were used in the Holocaust and they had all the shoes that the people wore 50 years ago. I can understand how people can be so emotional over this whole thing seeing that it was one of the most disgusting and creul things that have ever happened in the history of man kind. The museum was very fun , but at the same time it was very sad. There is no way that I would turn down the opportunity to go to the Holocaust Museum again.

The story of the Holocaust was a tragic event in history no one knows why it happened. Hitler the cruel dictator is the one who made this saddening chain of events happen. Hitler is the cause of so many peoples troubles and worries. The Holocaust would have probaly not have happened if not for Hitler's obsession to exterminate all the Jews.

Jeremy I.

The Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. is the most extraordinary thing that I have ever seen in my entire life! We as the citizens who have visited this museum and became a witness must know that this museum explains a lot about this crazed life that the Jewish and all the others were going through. The museum has so many artifacts that you can see, and so many pictures that are to bear as the witness as what these Germans had done to all of these people just because they are different. Why is hatred so powerful to such one kind? If you have never seen this museum you must. It will make you think more about hatred, poverty, rights, race, color, and anything that could lead to this EXTERMINATION of anybody!

Thomas H.

When I first entered The Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. a feeling of grief hit me like a brick wall, all I had learned from the weeks before the trip was all bottled up and released so clear to me as I looked over the artifacts that had ones belonged to innocent people, either sent to death immediately or by hard labor. The pain and suffering was right in front of my eyes, and yet I still did not understand the reasoning. I believe from 1933 to 1945 hell was on earth, put right in front of America's faces, but we did not react. Hell was right across from America but we did not see the tears. I pray the innocent people's souls, who were put to death are at rest. The lives of these people will not be forgotten or forsaken thanks to the many people who helped in every way with the museum.

Stephanie T.

I believe the most important thing for people to know about the Holocaust is the pain and suffering that hate and discrimination can cause. It is also important for us to make sure that nothing like that ever happens again. In the world today there are still people who strongly hate and discriminate against other people of a different race or religion. I think hatred toward anyone just because of the color of their skin or they way they choose to believe is wrong and is just going to lead to another gut-wrenching tradgedy.

Melanie W.

If you haven't been to the Holocaust Memorial Museum, you need to because all of the things you see done to all the people is very moving. If you don't think it happened, you will change your mind once you see it. All of the things they did to the women, children, and men just for being Jewish was touching. You need to go, and if you do, you will learn things you never knew and how it all started.

Jessica S.

When entering the Holocaust Museum, I had an interest to learn, and read as much I can. There was so much to see, but so little time. It was so hard for me to understand that one person could have so much power, and that millions of people liked Adolph Hitler. These innocent people were killed because of their hair color not being blonde, or their eyes not being blue, or they were not short, or they had the slightest look of a Jew. That brought a tear to my eye because some of them were so young, and they didn't even get to grow up to be adults. Another thing that brought a tear to my eye was going inside the box car, where one hundred or so people were stuffed in this car for days, waiting their deaths, with little to eat, no where to sleep, and barely no water to drink. They also had no where to go to the bathroom. They had little air. The odor was so powerful that many of the people died of it. Experiencing this, I will never forget this, and will learn as much as I can about this as possible. I really enjoyed going to the Holocaust and would like to go there again.

Krystal J.

On December 11, 1996 I went to the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. There I saw a computer that has all the names of survivors. I typed in my last name of Weir and had 2 pages of names. I wish there were more names in the computer.

Donna W.

The Holocaust was the most awful single massacre in the history of the human race. Before learning about the Holocaust I didn't know very much about what really went on in the camps and how peoples' lives were devastated by the S.S. and the Gestapo, Hitler's' henchmen. The Holocaust Museum helped to show me what people just like us went through. The museum gave a story of death and destruction. It showed the lives of ordinary kids, who were the same age as my classmates and I. It was a real experience for my father and I. We both enjoyed it. We would suggest it to anyone who was interested. It was moving and compelling. On the other hand I would not suggest the museum to a young child. Many of the exhibits were very graphic and showed a lot of naked dead people. I don't think that a child would be able to understand. However, it is a great learning experience for anyone old enough to comprehend all the death and destruction produced in those 11 years when Hitler was in power.


The Holocaust was a terrible disgusting single massacre that happened a long time ago, but there are some wars going on now that in some time could resemble what happened with the Holocaust and that's why I'm so interested in the Holocaust Museum. When I was at the Holocaust Museum I looked at every article closely, so I could learn as much as possible. The Museum gave me a lot of thoughts of how it would feel to be put in a box car with no room to sit for a week and no food or water except what you brought which wasn't much. I thought of how of how it would feel to be stripped of your possessions and given a suit and a yellow star of David to identify that you were a Jew, and they tattooed a numbered on your arm so they could identify exactly which prisoner that Jew was. Then I also thought of what it would feel like to be told you were going to take a shower, but really you were going to be killed by a poison gas with about a thousand other Jews.


The Holocaust was a very scary thing to happen to the Jews. To me plays a big part in my life, and this museum was a big part of my life. I just wish I had gone to the museum sooner. I felt even more sorry for the little kids. It seems worse each year when we study about the museum. I felt really sorry for the little kids that had to live the worst nightmare of all. Death before they got to live their lives. Imagine what that was like. I can't believe that someone would have the guts to kill people for no reason at all. Kids, Adults, Retarded, and Handicapped. I mean for no reason at all they would kill people even if they didn't like how they looked. How would you feel if someone came up to you and told you that you couldn't live. How would you feel? Me, I would hate that thinking that just because someone didn't like me for who I was. If you didn't fit the description of blonde hair, blue eyes, tall and thin. Me, I am only part of this description blonde hair, and thin. So I guess I would be dead if I lived back then. I would be scared out of my mind if some train came to take me to a camp and then tell me that I was going to take a shower and DIE! How would you feel?


When I went to the museum, I thought that I was ready for what I was about to witness, but I wasn't near. The things that I saw were very upsetting and amazing. I had never seen anything like I saw there in my life. Some of the pictures really made you think. I tried to see myself in a concentration camp or a death camp, and try to imagine what it would be like knowing that I may never see my family again. The museum really did a great job of making me feel like I was in a camp. There were so many turns and they all took you to a different exhibit to explore. The movies told great background information. This was a very positive experience, yet I learned much about the pain and suffering of the millions of victims that endured the Holocaust.

Benjamin F.

Before I went to the museum, I thought that it would not be that emotional. Then I went to the museum and it was even more emotional than I thought it would be. Things that I saw was the actual train cart that took people to Auschwitz were they were all gassed and burned. Also there was so many shoes that was took off of the dead bodies. In the museum it said there was 5,957,000 Jewish people killed. It was terrible when they showed some of the experiments they did on the Jewish people. The person that did it was Joseph Mengele he was called the "Angel of Death" at Auschwitz. They also showed pictures of a whole village wiped out. There is even more stuff to write about but I really don't want to.

Sean G.

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